Collision rules coming any day now
February, 19, 2014
By Buster Olney | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezNearly three years after the infamous Buster Posey collision, the new rules are almost here.The new rules banning home plate collisions will likely be dispersed to teams sometime in the next couple of days, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
The delay in getting the rules to teams so they can begin training catchers and runners about plays at the plate has not been a reflection of uncertainty about whether the change would happen, but in determining the precise language for new rules.
There are two simple principles: Runners are not allowed to target catchers, and runners will have access to home plate -- or, in other words, the same principles that apply on plays at first base.
But because a catcher's tag is usually required at home plate, rather than a force, there is more gray area, more special conditions. For example: What happens if a catcher is pursuing a thrown ball and collides with the runner?
The conversations about how to specifically define the rules began in earnest last fall, and along the way, there has been input from managers Mike Matheny, Joe Girardi, Fredi Gonzalez and Bruce Bochy, as well as former manager Tony La Russa. And some players were asked for their thoughts as well, including Russell Martin, Matt Wieters and Buster Posey.
It was Posey's season-ending injury in 2011 that accelerated the move toward the ban, of course, in the name of player safety.
"Everyone's goal is the same," one source said.
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